Table_1_A Meta-Analysis on Degraded Alpine Grassland Mediated by Climate Factors: Enlightenment for Ecological Restoration.XLSX
Alpine grassland is the main ecosystem on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). Degradation and restoration of alpine grassland are related to ecosystem function and production, livelihood, and wellbeing of local people. Although a large number of studies research degraded alpine grassland, there are debates about degradation patterns of alpine grassland in different areas and widely applicable ecological restoration schemes due to the huge area of the QTP. In this study, we used the meta-analysis method to synthesize 80 individual published studies which were conducted to examine aboveground and underground characteristics in non-degradation (ND), light degradation (LD), moderate degradation (MD), heavy degradation (HD), and extreme degradation (ED) of alpine grassland on the QTP. Results showed that aboveground biomass (AGB), belowground biomass (BGB), Shannon-Wiener index (H′), soil moisture (SM), soil organic carbon (SOC), soil total nitrogen (TN), and available nitrogen (AN) gradually decreased along the degradation gradient, whereas soil bulk density (BD) and soil pH gradually increased. In spite of a tendency to soil desertification, losses of other soil nutrients and reduction of enzymes, there was no linear relationship between the variations with degradation gradient. Moreover, the decreasing extent of TN was smaller in areas with higher precipitation and temperature, and the decreasing extent of AGB, SOC, and TN was larger in areas with a higher extent of corresponding variables in the stage of ND during alpine grassland degradation. These findings suggest that in areas with higher precipitation and temperature, reseeding and sward cleavage can be used for restoration on degraded alpine grassland. Fencing and fertilization can be used for alpine grassland restoration in areas with lower precipitation and temperature. Microbial enzymes should not be used to restore degraded alpine grassland on a large scale on the QTP without detailed investigation and analysis. Future studies should pay more attention to the effects of climate factors on degradation processes and specific ecological restoration strategies in different regions of the QTP.